On September 15, 1979, Kimberly Alice King went missing while visiting her grandparents in Warren, Michigan.
According to Inside Edition, on the night of her disappearance, the 12-year-old was staying at her friend Annie’s house. Annie’s home was just across the road from her grandparent’s house in the quiet, presumably safe neighbourhood.
Kimberly was last heard from when she called her sister, Konnie, from a pay phone at 11pm that night. She told her older sister she had snuck out of Annie’s house through a bedroom window.
Konnie warned Kimberly about the dangers of being out that late and urged her to return to her friend’s home.
No one would ever hear from or see Kimberly again.
The next day Kimberly was reported missing by her grandparents. Unfortunately her older sister, Kathie, had run away several times, so the police assumed Kimberly was also a runaway.
Months later a witness reported seeing someone matching Kimberly’s appearance at a pay phone, several kilometres from her grandparent’s home, on the night of her disappearance.
Despite this, the investigation was slow moving and was eventually classified as a cold case.
Now almost 40 years later police have begun searching for Kimberly's remains in the woods near Macomb Township, a suburb of Detroit.
The Detroit News reports local investigators have reason to believe the preteen was the victim of convicted paedophile and child killer, Arthur Nelson Ream.
Ream, 69, is currently serving a life sentence, without parole, for the rape and murder of Cynthia Zarzycki, who disappeared in April 1986.
According to the Macomb Daily, Ream lured the 13-year-old to a Dairy Queen then sexually assaulted her, killed her, and buried her remains in the Macomb Township woods.
Cynthia was friends with Ream's son and she thought she was going to the Dairy Queen to attend his birthday party. Instead she was led to her death.
Ream was arrested and convicted of Cynthia's murder 22 years later in 2008.
That same year, the convicted paedophile led police to Cynthia's remains in the wooded area that's currently being searched.
Now police believe Ream could be connected to the disappearance of at least six to eight teenage girls in the 1970s and 1980s. Local authorities believe they will most likely find Kimberly's remains in the woods and at least some of the remains of the other girls.
"We have probable cause to believe this is a gravesite," Macomb Township Police Commissioner, Bill Dwyer, said in a press conference this week.
"We also believe that there's maybe four to six other girls that have been reported missing that are buried there," he said.
"We certainly are convinced we have the right area. It's just a sad type of situation."
Associated Press reports that at the time of his arrest for Zarzycki's murder, Ream was serving a 15 year sentence for the molestation of a 14-year-old girl.
During the press conference, Police Commissioner Dwyer said Ream had allegedly "bragged" about murdering "four to six" people to fellow inmates while serving his current sentence.
The convicted killer also allegedly failed a polygraph test when the examiner asked him about Kimberly and the other girls.
Although the police suspect Ream is a serial killer, he has chosen not to cooperate with their investigation.
During the press conference the town's mayor, James R. Fouts, said he hoped the investigation would bring some much needed closure for the girls' families.
“I hope this will help bring closure to this long nightmare for the family of Kimberly King as well as the other families," he said.
"This monster robbed these young girls of decades of life."